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2007 Accident Statistics – Food for Thought

October 21, 2008

Although the Department for Transport’s newly published ‘Road Casualty Statistics Great Britain :2007′ show an overall reduction in Road Traffic Collisions the percentage of work related vehicles involved in crashes increase.

A total of 334,966 vehicle crashes were reported in 2007. This resulted in 247,780 casualties – a reduction of 4% compared to 2006. The number of people killed (2,946) showed a significant 7% reduction on 2006 figures, whilst the number of road users Seriously Injured in 2007 fell by 3% to 27,774 and the number Slightly Injured fell by 4% to 217,060.

‘Failed to look properly’ was the highest causation factor, featuring as a contributory factor in 35% of all accidents – almost double the next most common errors – ‘Failed to judge other person’s path or speed’ – 19%, ‘Careless, reckless or in a hurry’ – 17% and ‘Loss of Control’ – 15%.

Younger drivers, particularly males, are more likely to have accidents related to speed and behaviour, whereas older drivers are more likely to have accidents caused by factors relating to vision and judgement.

Of the total of 334,966 reported vehicle crashes, 90,775 vehicles were reported as being ‘work related’ vehicles. This represents 27.1% of all vehicle crashes compared to 26.7% work related vehicle crashes in 2006. Worryingly, there were a significant number of vehicles included in the Accident Statistics for which the journey purpose was not identified so there may well be a considerable under reporting of work related vehicle crashes.

Despite the new Corporate Manslaughter Legislation and the emphasis placed by all responsible Trade Bodies and Publications on Health and Safety Law and Practice in relation to ‘at work driving’ it is surprising that so many Companies have failed to take  even the simplest steps to protect themselves and their employees. This is reflected in the disappointing Accident trends for work vehicles and is even more surprising considering the cost savings which can be achieved at a time when all business should be looking to reduce costs and conserve capital investments.

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